And human behavior is a composite of individual DNA and experience. With this, probability assures that the variability of individual behavior exceeds that tolerated by human groups and that said tolerance is increasingly challenged as groups enlarge. That guarantees tension between groups and any individuals unaccepting of the behavioral limits peculiar to that group, underlying the need for government with police. More specifically, it demonstrates that individual behavior is increasingly limited by the growth of government since the two share opposing as well as common interests. That is, human behavior guarantees that governmental growth naturally progresses toward autocracy. It’s genetic! Money encourages the tension.
Citizens and governments must compete for possession of money. To that end, governments appropriate monetary control while citizens depend upon their monopoly on the production of the goods and services that the money exists to purchase. With this, the purchasing power of the available money supply approximates the market value of the available goods and services. Using its monetary control to manipulate that value has equipped governments to replace old style tax farming with a more efficient revenue system that lubricates expansion at the risk of financial instability.
Rather than sending out corrupt bully boys to collect taxes, governments hike their spending by borrowing against their taxpayers’ credit. Then, they borrow more to repay the earlier loans, aided by central banks suppression of interest rates. Finally, they just increase their money supply faster than the citizens produce goods and services, diluting the purchasing power of the monetary unit i.e. creating inflation. That both cheats the lenders and is an unacknowledged but very real tax upon the incomes and savings of the citizens. To these, add: ”Who rides the tiger, cannot dismount.”
Politicians on this path find that last years’ spending does not ensure next years’ election; they force each other to compete via ever-increasing bribes of the voters. The resulting debt and inflation impoverish the economy and ultimately collapse the currency unless that is eclipsed by more general collapse, war or both. Most of the world’s significant economies appear to be somewhere on this path. The same policies underlay the replacements of many of their predecessors; the human behavior that generates government also guarantees its instability; it is inherently a repeating cycle.
Democracy, like money, exists in tension; though wielded by government, authority remains vested in the sovereign citizens. To endure, that sovereignty must flow from the unalterable Hand of God. Human behavior moves governors to enlarge their authority and thus their rewards as they can, motivating government growth. Since human authority is a zero sum game, the growth of government necessarily expands its authority at the expense of the citizens, effectively diminishing functional democracy. This was central to the designers of the American republic; it was their reason for the dispersal of authority and the restriction of taxation in the constitution they adopted. And as they well knew, that constitution was a triumph of hope over experience.
Human behavior is not altered by constitutional legislation: by 1791, the first U.S. central bank institutionalized political control of the money and in 1803, the U.S. Supreme Court awarded itself the authority to “interpret” the Constitution. In 1913, constitutional amendments provided the income tax and removed selection of senators from state legislatures. The American government was on its way toward today’s unsustainable debt, massive military, bloated social spending, arbitrary business lockdowns, compulsory vaccination and impending financial failure. Nor is the U.S. alone, such conditions are widely shared, predicting an unpleasant, impending denouement that, while it will be the largest, will not be the first of its kind. That is to be expected; it is part of the price of human progress.
Human progress is a social product; grouping multiplies human productivity. However, individual competitiveness vitiates grouping. Government strives to optimize these but is itself compromised by the same conflict. Social and economic change challenges government control, resulting in its defensive reinforcement. The automobile, simple female contraception and the internet have debased the Judeo-Christian society that produced them, but human governments, as obsolescent now as were the monarchies of old, are tightening control of individuals to stave off the price of their mismanagement. But while imposed stasis will suppress progress, it cannot revitalize a society or rebuild an economy. Those must arise upon a new, welcoming societal foundation that awaits the defenestration of its predecessor and eventually, a constructive revision of its government.
The Post-Roman, individualistic, Reformed Judeo-Christian society that produced Western modernity has ended; America’s expanding middle class and rising life expectancy have removed to China. Europe required a thousand years to replace the detritus of Rome with industrialization; China and Russia managed it later in much less time but at a price of millions starved. The mess our progress has thrown off must be cleared away and our failed societies, religions and governments replaced by improved models to anchor another round of human progress; if that is in the cards for the species. That seems likely to require both some time and probably, an inversely proportionate body count. After all, TANSTAAFL!